Race Weekend Wrap Up
Gordon, Wayne Taylor Racing win Rolex 24: Ricky Taylor used a gutsy move to fiercely grab a victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona that had seemingly slipped out of reach. The Wayne Taylor Racing team was among the most dominant in the twice-round-the-clock endurance race but found itself trailing Action Express in the final hour in a battle of brand new Cadillacs. His shot at the celebrated victory was down to one final attempt at a pass of Filipe Albuquerque, and Taylor dove inside of him entering Turn 1 of the road course.Taylor seemed to have the inside lane, but it wasn't clear if he could complete the pass. Contact between the two cars sent Albuquerque spinning, and IMSA reviewed the action to see if Taylor warranted a penalty. No penalty was issued after the review, and the Taylor team won its first Rolex since 2005 - when team owner Wayne Taylor was still a driver. It marks the first victory for brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor - two of the most talented sports-car racers in America - and longtime Taylor co-driver Max Angelelli. Their fourth driver? None other than retired NASCAR great Jeff Gordon, who won the first Rolex watch of his career. Gordon ran this race once before, in 2007, with the Taylor team. Gordon didn't carry a very significant part of the load in victory. He drove twice for a total of three stints, his last one at night in a heavy rain that he's not accustomed to managing. With so much poor weather into daybreak, the team left most of the heavy lifting to the Taylor brothers. Still, it's a coveted Rolex watch for Gordon in a trophy collection that includes four NASCAR champions and three Daytona 500s. "I haven't been this emotional for a win and an experience like this for a very long time," Gordon said. "The reason is because I know what this means to this team, Wayne, these kids, Max. Oh my gosh. This is amazing - Daytona has always been special, but this one sent me over the top. I'm just blown away right now."(Associated Press)(1-29-2017)
Sponsor logos on front windshield in all three series: The names of drivers no longer will appear on a Cup car's front windshield, according to an addition to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rule Book. Instead, Monster Energy will have its logo and name across the top of the front windshield with the car manufacturer's logo. Both Xfinity and Camping World have their names across the front windshield of the vehicles in their series. The driver's name moves to the rear windshield on Cup cars - matching where a driver's name is located in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. The move was made to align the Cup series with the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series in series sponsor placement on the vehicle. The driver's name has adorned the front windshield of Cup cars since 2013. During the opening round of last year's Cup playoffs, the Twitter handles for each title-eligible driver was placed on the front windshield instead of the driver's name.(NBC Sports)(1-28-2017)
Teams to have less practice time this year: NASCAR confirmed Thursday that teams in its top three series will have less practice time this season. Weekend schedules for upcoming races at Daytona, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Auto Club Speedway show that Cup teams will have at least an hour less practice time at each track compared to last year. Cup teams also will have one less day to practice at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Daytona 500. While the schedules are listed as tentative, NASCAR does not expect any major changes to them before those events. Among the reasons given for the reduction of practice is that teams stated they did not need as much on-track time. The changes also are being done to make the weekend more efficient. Most weekends are expected to have less practice time. There will be a few exceptions. NASCAR is expected to give teams additional practice in July at Kentucky (additional layer of asphalt added to track) and Texas in November (repave).(NBC Sports)(1-27-2017)
NHRA Nitro Sprint Training This Week
NHRA Nitro Spring Training is set to begin at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside of Phoenix, Feb. 1-4, as Top Fuel and Funny Car teams get ready for the season-opening Winternationals in Pomona: http://www.nhra.com/news/2016/nitro-spring-training-preview
NHRA ANNOUNCES JET CAR PROGRAM EXPANSION FOR 2017 SEASON
Throughout the 2017 season NHRA national events will feature exhibition passes from the popular jet cars. Known for their exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines and are a fan favorite attraction.
While jet cars have run exhibition passes at NHRA national events before, this season the wildly popular jet car program is expanding and will be featured at a record amount of races and will run Friday nights after the second Top Fuel session. Three of the familiar jet car teams will be returning to the NHRA circuit: Muy Caliente Racing sponsored by Lucas Oil, Hanna Motorsports founded by Al and Ellen Hanna and Larsen Motorsports sponsored by Florida Tech and Valspar Automotive.
Muy Caliente Racing consists of two jet cars, Terminal Velocity and MAV TV Missile, which are both sponsored by Lucas Oil Racing. Drivers for the jet dragsters are team owner Tony Franco, John "Sporty" Bandimere, Tony Franco Jr. and Tom Bogner, the director of motorsports for Lucas Oil Products Inc.